Jeremiah 14; Jeremiah 15; Jeremiah 16; Jeremiah 17

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Jeremiah 14

1 The LORD spoke his word to Jeremiah about the drought.
2 Judah mourns; its gates fall apart. The people of Judah sit in mourning on the ground. Their cry goes up from Jerusalem.
3 Important people send their assistants out for water. They go to the cisterns, but they don't find any water. They come back with their containers empty. They cover their heads, because they are ashamed and disgraced.
4 The ground is cracked because there has been no rain in the land. The farmers are disappointed. They cover their heads.
5 Even deer in the fields give birth and abandon their young because there's no grass.
6 Wild donkeys stand on the bare hills. They sniff the air like jackals. Their eyesight fails because they have no green plants.
7 Do something, LORD, for the sake of your name, even though our sins testify against us. We have been unfaithful and have sinned against you.
8 You are Israel's hope, the one who saves it in times of trouble. Why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who stays only one night?
9 Why should you be like someone taken by surprise, like a strong man who cannot help? You, O LORD, are among us. We are called by your name. Don't leave us!
10 This is what the LORD says about these people: They love to wander. They don't keep their feet where they belong. So the LORD isn't happy with them. He will remember their crimes and punish their sins.
11 The LORD said to me, "Don't pray for the good of these people.
12 Even if they go without food, I won't listen to their cries for help. Even if they sacrifice burnt offerings and grain offerings, I won't be pleased with them. But I will destroy these people with wars, famines, and plagues."
13 Then I said, "Almighty LORD, prophets are saying to them, 'You won't see wars or famines, because I, the LORD, will give you lasting peace in this place.'"
14 Then the LORD told me, "These are the lies that the prophets are telling in my name: They claim that I sent them, commanded them, and spoke to them. They dreamed up the visions they tell you. Their predictions are worthless. They are the products of their own imagination.
15 "I didn't send these prophets. Yet, they prophesy in my name that there will be no wars or famines in this land. So this is what I, the LORD, say about them: Wars and famines will bring an end to these prophets.
16 The people they prophesy to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem. They will be victims of famines and wars. No one will bury them, their wives, their sons, or their daughters. I will pour on them the destruction that they deserve.
17 "Say this to them: 'My eyes flow with tears day and night without stopping because my dear people will suffer massive destruction. It will be a very serious blow.'"
18 If I go to the field, I see those killed because of war. If I go to the city, I see those sick because of famine. Prophets and priests wander through a land they haven't heard of.
19 Have you completely rejected Judah? Do you despise Zion? Why have you struck us so hard that we cannot heal? We hope for peace, but no good comes from it. We hope for a time of healing, but there's only terror.
20 O LORD, we realize our wickedness and the wrongs done by our ancestors. We have sinned against you.
21 For the sake of your name, don't despise us. Don't dishonor your glorious throne. Remember your promise to us; don't break it.
22 The worthless gods of the nations can't make it rain. By themselves, the skies can't give showers. But you can, O LORD our God. We have hope in you because you do all these things.
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Jeremiah 15

1 Then the LORD said to me, "Even if Moses and Samuel were standing in front of me, I would not feel sorry for these people. Send them away from me, and let them go.
2 When they ask you where they should go, say to them, 'This is what the LORD says: Those who are destined to die will die. Those who are destined to die in wars will die in wars. Those who are destined to die in famines will die in famines. Those who are destined to die in captivity will die in captivity.'
3 "I will devise four ways to punish them," declares the LORD. "I will send swords to kill, dogs to drag away, and birds and animals to devour and destroy.
4 I will make these people a horrifying sight to all the kingdoms on the earth. This will happen because of what Judah's King Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, did in Jerusalem.
5 No one will take pity on you, Jerusalem. No one will mourn for you. No one will bother to ask how you are doing.
6 You have left me," declares the LORD. "You have turned your back on me. So I will use my power against you and destroy you. I'm tired of showing compassion to you.
7 "I will separate them with a winnowing shovel at the city gates. I will make them childless. I will destroy my people because they will not change their ways.
8 Their widows will be more numerous than the grains of sand on the seashore. At noontime I will send a destroyer against the mothers of young men. I will suddenly bring anguish and terror to them.
9 A mother who gives birth to seven sons will grow faint and breathe her last. She will die, ashamed and humiliated, while it is still daylight. I will put survivors from these people to death in the presence of their enemies," declares the LORD.
10 I'm so miserable! Why did my mother give birth to me? I am a man who argues and quarrels with the whole earth. I have never lent or borrowed anything. Yet, everyone curses me.
11 The LORD said, "I will certainly rescue you for a good reason. I will certainly make your enemies plead with you in times of disaster and in times of distress.
12 (No one can break iron, iron from the north, or bronze.)
13 I will give away your wealth and treasures as loot as the price for all the sins that you have committed throughout your territory.
14 I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you haven't heard of, because my anger has started a fire. It will burn you."
15 O LORD, you understand. Remember me, take care of me, and take revenge on those who persecute me. Be patient, and don't take me away. You should know that I've been insulted because of you.
16 Your words were found, and I devoured them. Your words are my joy and my heart's delight, because I am called by your name, O LORD God of Armies.
17 I didn't keep company with those who laugh and have fun. I sat alone because your hand was on me. You filled me with outrage.
18 Why is my pain unending and my wound incurable, refusing to heal? Will you disappoint me like a stream that dries up in summertime?
19 This is what the LORD says: If you will return, I will take you back. If you will speak what is worthwhile and not what is worthless, you will stand in my presence. The people will return to you, but you will not return to them.
20 I will make you like a solid bronze wall in front of these people. They will fight you, but they will not defeat you. I am with you, and I will save you and rescue you, declares the LORD.
21 I will rescue you from the power of wicked people and free you from the power of tyrants.
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Jeremiah 16

1 The LORD spoke his word to me. He said,
2 "Don't marry! Don't have any sons or daughters in this place!
3 This is what the LORD says about the sons and daughters born in this place and about the mothers and fathers who have children in this land:
4 They will die horrible deaths. No one will mourn for them or bury them. They will be like manure on the ground. Wars and famines will bring them to an end. Their bodies will be food for birds and animals.
5 "This is what the LORD says: Don't go into a house where people are grieving. Don't go to mourn or to grieve for them. I'm taking my peace, love, and compassion away from these people," declares the LORD.
6 "Old and young alike will die in this land. No one will mourn for them or bury them. No one will cut his own body or shave his own head for them.
7 No one will offer food to comfort those who mourn the dead. No one will give a consoling drink to those who have lost their fathers or mothers.
8 "Don't even go into a home where there is a banquet. Don't sit with them to eat and drink.
9 This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I'm going to put a stop to the sounds of joy and happiness and the sounds of brides and grooms in this place. This will happen in your lifetime, while you watch.
10 "When you tell the people all these things, they will ask you, 'Why does the LORD threaten us with all these disasters? What have we done wrong? How have we sinned against the LORD our God?'
11 Then say to them, 'It's because your ancestors abandoned me, declares the LORD. They followed other gods, served them, worshiped them, and abandoned me. They didn't obey my teachings.
12 You have done worse than your ancestors. All of you are following your own stubborn, evil ways that keep you from obeying me.
13 So I will throw you out of this land into a land that you and your ancestors haven't heard of. There you will serve other gods day and night because I will no longer have pity on you.'
14 "That is why the days are coming," declares the LORD, "when people will no longer begin an oath with, 'The LORD brought the people of Israel out of Egypt. As the LORD lives....'
15 But they will say, 'The LORD brought the people of Israel out of the land of the north and all the lands where he had scattered them. As the LORD lives....' They will say this because I will bring them back to the land that I gave their ancestors.
16 "I'm going to send for many fishermen," declares the LORD, "and they will catch the people of Israel. After that, I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt for them on every mountain and hill and even in the cracks in the rocks.
17 I see everything that they do. They can't hide anything from me. Their wickedness can't be hidden; I can see it.
18 First, I will have them pay twice as much for their wickedness and their sin, because they have polluted my land. They have filled my property with the lifeless statues of their detestable and disgusting idols."
19 The LORD is my strength and my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. Nations come to you from the most distant parts of the world and say, "Our ancestors have inherited lies, worthless and unprofitable gods."
20 "People can't make gods for themselves. They aren't really gods.
21 That is what I will teach them. This time I will make my power and my strength known to them. Then they will know that my name is the LORD."
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Jeremiah 17

1 [The LORD says,] "Judah's sin is written with an iron pen. It is engraved with a diamond point on the tablet of their hearts and on the horns of their altars.
2 Even their children remember their altars and their poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah beside large trees on high hills
3 and on mountains in the open country. I will turn your wealth and all your treasures into loot. I will do this because of your worship sites and your sin throughout all your territory.
4 You will lose the inheritance that I gave you. I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you haven't heard of. I will do this because you have stirred up the fire of my anger. It will burn forever.
5 "This is what the LORD says: Cursed is the person who trusts humans, who makes flesh and blood his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He will be like a bush in the wilderness. He will not see when something good comes. He will live in the dry places in the desert, in a salty land where no one can live.
7 Blessed is the person who trusts the LORD. The LORD will be his confidence.
8 He will be like a tree that is planted by water. It will send its roots down to a stream. It will not be afraid in the heat of summer. Its leaves will turn green. It will not be anxious during droughts. It will not stop producing fruit.
9 "The human mind is the most deceitful of all things. It is incurable. No one can understand how deceitful it is.
10 I, the LORD, search minds and test hearts. I will reward each person for what he has done. I will reward him for the results of his actions.
11 A person who gets rich dishonestly is like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay. During his lifetime, he will lose his wealth. In the end, he will be a godless fool."
12 Our holy place is a glorious throne, highly honored from the beginning.
13 O LORD, the Hope of Israel, all who abandon you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in dust, because they abandon the LORD, the fountain of life-giving water.
14 Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed. Rescue me, and I will be rescued. You are the one I praise.
15 People keep asking me, "Where is the word of the LORD? Let it come."
16 I have not run away from being your shepherd, and I have not longed for the day of destruction. You know what came out of my mouth.
17 Do not terrorize me. You are my refuge on the day of disaster.
18 Put my persecutors to shame, but do not let me be put to shame. Terrify them, but do not let me be terrified. Bring the day of disaster on them, and destroy them completely.
19 This is what the LORD said to me: Stand at People's Gate, where the kings of Judah go in and out. Then stand at every gate in Jerusalem.
20 Tell everyone: "Listen to the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah, all the people of Judah, and all those who live in Jerusalem, and go through these gates.
21 This is what the LORD says: Watch out! If you value your lives, do not carry anything on the day of worship or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem.
22 Do not bring anything out of your homes on the day of worship. Do not do any work, but observe the day of worship as a holy day, as I told your ancestors.
23 Your ancestors did not obey me or pay attention to me. They were impossible to deal with and would not listen or accept discipline.
24 "Now," declares the LORD, "you must listen to me and not bring anything through the gates of this city on the day of worship. You must observe the day of worship as a holy day by not doing any work on it.
25 If you do this, then the kings and princes who sit on David's throne will come through the gates of this city. They and their princes will ride in chariots and on horses along with the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. This city will always have people living in it.
26 "People will come from the cities of Judah, from all around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin, from the foothills, from the mountains, and from the Negev. They will bring burnt offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings, and incense. They will also bring thank offerings to the LORD's temple.
27 But you must listen to me and observe the day of worship as a holy day by not carrying anything through the gates of Jerusalem on the day of worship. If you don't do this, I will set its gates on fire. The fire will burn down the palaces in Jerusalem, and you won't be able to put it out."
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.